It strips multiple spaces and doesn't work for your own text, and didn't you forget the -f switch?
I'd suggest an improvement to the timestamp dialog to somehow include colors and nickname position and such, so you can do strange stuff like
HH:nn (°$nick°) (ss)
to get your nick with all kinds of ascii art crap somewhere around or inside your timestamp. Yes, I forgot to add colors, choose your own and add them
The 'how do I change my <nick> to [nick]?' question comes around often enough I'd say...